Throwing Women Under the Bus: Health Care Reform? -NOT!

 
This past week, America’s women were, yet
again, thrown under the bus. Make no mistake about it; this health care bill
eradicates years of effort, blood and lives lost by brave physicians and
health care providers, to take this nation back to the dark ages of back alleys,
dead mothers and orphaned children. At the very last hour, the House leadership acquiesced in a
provision to the great Health Care Reform bill that takes away access to abortion
coverage for millions of women, despite the fact that the majority of health
insurance policies currently provide that coverage.
 
The spin machines are hailing this as a great
victory for Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats but in reality it is a black day for America’s
hard-fought battle for reproductive freedom.
 
While politics is a nasty game on a good day,
there are certain principles that those who believe in equality cannot
sacrifice. Reproductive choice is one of them. Those who oppose the use of
public funds to pay for abortion services had already won a victory in June when
pro-choice Representative Lois Capps agreed to introduce, as a stop-gap measure the Hyde amendment which has, for years, prohibited federal funds from being
used to pay for abortion services.
Representative Capps believed that this would be the line in the sand against further erosion of abortion rights in America.
 
The Stupak amendment (and I will refrain from the
obvious here) goes much further than this: It denies poor and middle-class women
access to abortion services when they purchase their own insurance with their
own money yet qualify for a partial subsidy.
Stupak also denies abortion services to women who seek (now
mandatory) coverage through the “public option” (such as it is).
 
While the pundits and democratic leadership
celebrate their great victory, we must rally every woman and man in this state
and nation who believe that our daughters, sisters and mothers deserve the
ultimate freedom of deciding whether, when and with whom to have children. We
have fought too long and too hard to exercise our constitutionally protected right to
reproductive choice to lose it now to the hands of political expediency and
lunatic fringe politics.

The fight moves to the Senate where Senate leader
Harry Reid and other anti-choice men hold the key to the future of every woman
of child-bearing years. Without the option of insurance coverage for abortions,
women will effectively be denied their fundamental right to control their own
destinies. Of course, what good is a right without the ability to exercise
it?


Will we be back to the butchers and back alleys
because women can’t afford to pay for the right to exercise their fundamental
freedoms and even if they can, those freedoms have been denied to them? Well,
that’s what the “Stupak” amendment does.

The bottom line here is that we
cannot allow this to stand. President Obama has committed to removing this
blatant violation of womens fundamental rights from the final bill that he
plans to sign. It is incumbent upon every person who believes in freedom of
choice, womens equal rights and the Constitution of this country to step up and
do something.

 
What to do? Write a letter to the President of
the United States and demand that he fight for us; send a letter to your
Senators and demand that they do the same.
 
What is it we want, we demand?
 
WE DEMAND THAT THE SENATE PASS A BILL FREE OF THESE
UNPRECEDENTED RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION AND THAT THE FINAL BILL PROTECT A WOMAN”S
RIGHT TO SAFELY ACCESS THIS LEGAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE.
 
What else can we do?
 
Write a check to an organization that will bring
the battle to the hallowed and hollow walls of Congress, should this measure
remain in the Senate version. There is a way to beat this, and we must all stand
together to do so.
 
We’ll be doing an action-alert on this shortly. In
the meantime, contact your Senators and Congressmembers and tell them your vote
for them is dependent upon their protecting reproductive freedom. Too many lives
depend upon it.
We can no longer acquiesce and be silent.

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